Waterside Festival makes waves at the weekend

13 September 2018

Aylesbury’s first canal festival burst into life with an abundance of colour and entertainment on Saturday. Visitors flowed to the town centre’s Waterside area to celebrate the past, present and future of this beautiful canalside public space as it starts a new chapter in its two hundred year history.

Situated in one of Aylesbury’s most picturesque settings, surrounded by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Waitrose and Travelodge, the Waterside area provided the festival with a great backdrop to this eagerly anticipated community event.

Organised by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership and working in partnership with local businesses, organisations and the councils, this new event was the result of months of hard work with the aim to introduce visitors to a little-known part of Aylesbury.

Lucy Dowson, Visit Buckinghamshire’s Tourism Development Manager, said: “Visit Buckinghamshire was very excited to be part of the inaugural Waterside Festival. The event was a great success with so much for the visitor to see and do. It was also a great opportunity to discover the Aylesbury Basin, a beautiful, undiscovered area that hopefully has now been put in the spotlight. A big thank you to Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership and local businesses who did an amazing job of bringing the community together for a fantastic day out. I do hope this event becomes an annual one.”

Combining a winning formula of both water and land-based activities, festival goers were delighted with the vast choice of events and activities on offer, including free taster sessions for canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing from the Canal & River Trust (in conjunction with Chiltern Canoe Club and Tring Anglers), as well as canal trips with The Little Trip Boat.

“The paddle boarding was AMAZING! We all really enjoyed it,” said George, Charlie and Henry, students from Long Crendon School and Lord Williams’s School.

Elizabeth Haseler said, “I saw the event advertised on Facebook and was really keen for my kids to experience the fishing taster sessions.”

For those who preferred to stay on land, an amazing selection of stalls were available to browse, including a continental market provided by Geraud market and a floating market courtesy of Roving Canal Traders Association, as well as historical heritage walks, theatre tours, BuDS chill-out zone and UCAV tours. Stage theatre performances from Russell Scott’s Next Stage Choir, Alarum Theatre, Ubiquitous Theatre and Jacob Cole also enhanced this fabulous festival experience.

“It’s been a fantastic day trading to the landlubbers who will now be spicing up their grub! I’d certainly be keen to come back should the festival return for 2019,” said Bunny, owner of The Herb Boat.

Waterside Festival – just two days to go!

6 September 2018

The countdown is nearly over for Aylesbury’s first Waterside Festival, taking place this Saturday 8 September between 11am – 6.30pm.

Waterside Festival is a celebration of Aylesbury’s canal heritage coming together with its new and exciting developments and is situated in the canal side public space surrounded by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Waitrose and Travelodge.

As well as a boat-load of water-based activities such as free canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing taster sessions (courtesy of the Canal & River Trust in conjunction with Chiltern Canoe Club and Tring Anglers), there are also canal trips with The Little Trip Boat.

But landlubbers need not despair! The Waterside Festival will also host a vibrant mixture of land-based activities too, including a fantastic continental market, floating market traders, theatre, street entertainment, art and craft activities, live music, historical heritage walks, a pieces-of-eight treasure hunt, BuDS chill-out zone, food tasters, refreshments and so much more!

Leading the organisation of Aylesbury’s first canal festival is the Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership. Diana Fawcett, Aylesbury Town Centre and Regeneration Manager said: “The Waterside Festival is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the past, present and future of this beautiful space in the town centre and we are delighted to be working in partnership with so many businesses and organisations to add yet another enjoyable occasion to the Aylesbury calendar.”

Waterside Festival set to make a splash!

17 August 2018

Canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing taster sessions and even a virtual reality goggle experience are more of the brilliant and exciting events coming to September’s Waterside Festival, courtesy of the charity, Canal & River Trust. And best of all, they’re all free!

Waterside Festival will be welcoming the Canal & River Trust to Aylesbury town centre on Saturday 8 September, as part of the celebrations for Aylesbury’s first canal festival. The Trust will be working with Chiltern Canoe Club to offer free canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding taster sessions in the Aylesbury town centre canal basin, between 11am and 5pm. The sessions will be a great opportunity for all ages, individuals or family groups, to explore the waterways from a different perspective. There’s no need to book, just come along to have a go.

For those willing to cast their net a little wider, Canal & River Trust is also offering festival goers the opportunity to try angling for free with The Tring Anglers, between 11am and 4pm, as part of their summer long ‘Let’s Fish’ initiative. Free fishing taster sessions will be available on the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal by Tesco (Aylesbury, HP20 1PQ). It’s only a short ten minute walk along the canal from Waterside Festival, and is sure to be a family favourite. To avoid disappointment, book a place online, or visit Canal River Trust to see other free family ‘Let’s Fish’ events happening this year (ages 4 and up).

In addition to the fantastic water-based activities, the Canal & River Trust’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable team will also be giving away virtual reality goggles so festival goers can explore the heritage and wildlife of the waterways whenever and wherever they like. Bring the kids along to the Trust’s stand at Waterside Festival to find out about our local waterways, join in with some nature origami, or even have a go at their colouring competition. There’ll also be opportunities to volunteer and get involved in making the Grand Union Canal and Tring Reservoirs an amazing place to visit.

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What’s on at Waterside Festival?

30 July 2018

This September, Aylesbury town centre will be awash with a continental market, a floating market, live music, street entertainment, canal boat trips, water-based activities, arts and crafts, food tasters, refreshments, and much more, all at the new and exciting Waterside Festival.

For its first year, Waterside Festival will host a vibrant mixture of stalls, activities and treats to suit everyone. With an outstanding reputation of bringing the finest quality, diversity and service, Geraud Markets will be hosting a fantastic continental market, lining Aylesbury’s town centre canal basin. Walk along the beautiful canalside and explore a varied, vibrant and immensely talented array of traders at the floating market, brought to you by the Roving Canal Traders Association (RCTA). Typically the RCTA welcomes artists, photographers, knitters, sewists, bag makers, cake makers, wood crafters, leather crafters, jewellery makers, vintage clothes traders, herb boats, beer boats and lots more to events, making the floating market the perfect opportunity to purchase a unique gift for a loved one, in a different setting to the hustle and bustle of a lively shopping centre.

There will also be multiple chances to get creative with an array of art and craft activities including air clay, stencil and colouring with Queens Park Arts Centre. A spokesman from Queens Park Arts Centre commented: “Queens Park Arts Centre is delighted to have been invited to take part in the very first Waterside Festival. Our team of volunteers will be on hand to provide free art and craft activities, inspired by the canal itself, and also to publicise this year’s epic Arthurian pantomime – The Sword in the Stone.”

Adding some music, entertainment and glamour to the day will be Ubiquitous Theatre. Nick Andrews, a Director of Ubiquitous Theatre of Aylesbury said: “We were delighted to be asked to provide some theatricality to the Waterside Festival. With funding from Aylesbury Vale Arts Council, we have been able to bring together a 100-strong local choir, a specialist canal based theatre company, Bucks WI as suffragettes and our own actors to provide both entertainment and depth to what promises to be a wonderful day.”

The canal basin is starting a new chapter in its two-hundred-year history in revitalised surroundings, and Waterside Festival will be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the past, present and future of this beautiful space in Aylesbury town centre.

Leading the organisation of Aylesbury’s first canal festival is the Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership. Diana Fawcett, Aylesbury Town Centre and Regeneration Manager said: “The canal is over two hundred years old and was originally built to transport goods to London. We are delighted to be working with so many businesses and organisations to celebrate the history of the canal and hope the event will grow each year.”

The newest addition to your calendar – Aylesbury’s Waterside Festival!

3 July 2018

See Waterside burst into life with an abundance of colour and entertainment with the introduction of Aylesbury’s Waterside Festival.

Waterside Festival will be a celebration of Aylesbury’s canal heritage coming together with its new and exciting developments. The event will be packed with a boatload of new features and activities, and will be yet another enjoyable occasion to bring communities together in Aylesbury town centre.

It will be taking place on Saturday 8 September between 11am and 6.30pm in Waterside, the canalside public space surrounded by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Waitrose, Travelodge and of course, Aylesbury’s town centre canal basin. For its first year, the event will include an delicious continental market, a floating market, canal trips with ‘The Little Trip Boat’, water-based activity taster sessions, historical heritage walks through the town centre, arts and crafts, face painting, a pieces-of-eight treasure hunt, food tasters, refreshments and so much more!

Waterside Festival is a new initiative led by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership.

Lee Duffy, General Manager Aylesbury Waterside Theatre: “We are delighted to be part of the town’s first Waterside Festival. It’s an undiscovered part of Aylesbury which is truly beautiful and deserves to be put in the spotlight. With the line-up of activities planned and goodies that are going to be available to buy at the floating market and on the continental stalls, there is no doubt this will make for a fantastic day out.”

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, said: “University Campus Aylesbury Vale was the final phase of construction completing the Waterside basin and we’re now proud and excited to provide a great backdrop to this eagerly-anticipated community event.

“Students and staff enjoy our location in one of Aylesbury’s most picturesque settings and we’re looking ahead to contributing further to the area’s vibrancy, welcoming more students and providing start-up spaces for small businesses.”

A spokesperson for Roving Canal Traders Association commented: “The RCTA is extremely happy to have been asked to organise a Floating Market to be part of Aylesbury’s canal event, Waterside Festival.

“As modern day trading boats have become more popular, the RCTA’s floating markets have continued to grow from strength to strength. Our members are varied, vibrant and immensely talented. We have artists, photographers, knitters, sewists, bag makers, cake makers, wood crafters, leather crafters, jewellery makers, vintage clothes traders, herb boats, beer boats and lots more at many of our events.”